Guatemala – A Siesta — The North Star Reports, sponsored by The Middle Ground Journal
When I was in Guatemala, the group I was with spent a day landscaping for a new women’s center. This was the most physically backbreaking work I had ever done, and we Minnesotans were sweating it out under the hot Guatemalan sun. During our lunch break, as we guzzled water and wiped the sweat off of our dirty faces, our translator told us that the crew of Guatemalans we were working with wanted to take a siesta in the afternoon because it would be too hot to work. Knowing “siesta” translated to “nap” we were thrilled. We began talking excitedly about how we were going to spend the afternoon sleeping in the cool sweet shade of the trees. We went back to work, and around two in the afternoon the translator said the Guatemalan crew wanted to stop for the siesta. Shouts of joy arose from the Minnesota bunch. But the translator went on to say that the Guatemalans had invited us to play “fútbol” with them. I had to laugh. Apparently, a “siesta” in Guatemala doesn’t necessarily mean a nap or rest. The Minnesota people could think of nothing but resting after a hard day’s work sweating it out in the hot mountain air. The Guatemalans wanted a break too, but their idea of a break from a hard day’s work in the hot sun was an active game of fútbol. We did join in their game and had a great time. I would gladly choose fútbol in Guatemala over a nap any day.
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The North Star Reports: The Middle Ground Journal’s collaborative outreach program with K-12 classes around the world. We acknowledge North Star Academy of Duluth, Minnesota as our inaugural partner school, and the flagship of our K-12 outreach program. We also welcome Duluth East High School, Duluth Denfeld High School, and other schools around the world to the North Star Project. The North Star Reports has flourished since 2012. For a brief summary, please see the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at:
The Middle Ground Journal will share brief dispatches from our student interns, particularly from those who are currently stationed, or will soon be stationed abroad. Student interns have reported from Mongolia, Southern China, Shanghai, northeastern China, The Netherlands, Tanzania, Ireland, England, Finland, Russia, and Haiti. We also have students developing presentations on theatrical representations of historical trauma, historical memory, the price individuals pay during tragic global conflicts, and different perceptions of current events from around the world. We will post their dispatches here, and report on their interactions with the North Star Reports students and teachers.
Hong-Ming Liang, Ph.D., Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal, Associate Professor of History and Politics, The College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, MN, USA
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